Ross Andru


I was reading a thread on a message board recently that asked folks to post their favorite SPIDER-MAN artists. The obvious– and admittedly well deserving– usual names were tossed into the ring: Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr. AND Jr., Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, Mark Bagley…. someone even mentioned Joe Maduriera because he drew SPIDER-MAN in an issue of UNCANNY X-MEN some years back. I see these lists of favorite SPIDER-MAN artists popping up quite often like brush fires on boards all over the comics fan community, and I very rarely see Ross Andru get the props he deserves. He certainly had huge shoes to fill in following up the Romita era on AMAZING…. and just as Romita rose to the challenge of following Ditko when he was called on to do so, Andru did a marvelous job on the title. He kept enough of the traditional look to make for a smooth transition– but he also put his own distinctive stamp on the character that has made an impression on ME even all these years later. Todd McFarlane was always given huge credit for creating so many wildly impossible poses for SPIDER-MAN but managing to make them work. Ross Andru did the same thing when he worked on the book. He put the character in some really wild poses that no one had managed to do up to that point. And there was a dangerous quality to his drawing style…. his bad guys looked CRAZY and very intimidating. You could certainly believe that when one of them was out to do SPIDER-MAN in, he meant it.

In a more dubious distinction– I have to also give major credit to Andru for drawing the book through some of the less….. special, let’s say…. periods of creative writing and character creation during his run. Anyone familiar with THE JACKEL and ROCKET RACER will know what I mean. And yet, he never wavered in his quality. His work made those less than stellar stories still highly enjoyable for me during that time.

And so with today’s sketch, I tried to do a sort of tribute to a Ross Andru SPIDER-MAN style…. and drawing those poses are nothing to sneeze at. I’m not sure I was all that successful. But I’ll always be grateful for Ross Andru and his great work on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

This is Entry 235.


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